Clarissa Beyah is a communications executive, educator and nonprofit founder. Currently the chief communications officer for Union Pacific Railroad and a professor of professional practice of journalism at USC Annenberg, she helps leaders, students and organizations use strategic communications to transcend.
Beyah’s expertise spans the professional services, healthcare, technology, transportation and utilities sectors. Beyah is also an educator with a passion for engaging and empowering youth. She is the president and founder of the Writer’s Block Ink, Incorporated — a nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating and launching diverse young leaders using the arts. Since its inception 17 years ago, the Writer’s Block has helped more than 1,000 at-risk youth use the arts to transform their lives. The Writer’s Block productions address social issues ranging from domestic abuse to genocide. Youth enter as artists and rise to become leaders; past Writer’s Block participants hold community leadership roles across the nation.
Beyah has led teams on nearly every continent and served as a chief communication advisor for numerous Fortune 50 companies. Some of her prior roles include vice president, global communications, Aon; vice president, Pepco Holdings Communications, Exelon; chief communications officer, GE Transportation; global communications leader, GE Healthcare IT; and vice president, corporate communications, Northwestern Mutual. Beyah spent a decade at Pfizer and held several roles, including head of communications for Europe and of Pfizer’s first generics business unit, which grew from $2 billion to $18 billion in four years.
Beyah is a member of the Arthur Page Society and Leadership Greater Washington. She has a BA in English from Rowan University and an MBA in strategic management from the University of New Haven. She has three children and enjoys traveling, writing and hiking.